Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - December 2008

We regularly publish a summary of reports compiled by our twelve regional Agents following discussions with at least 700 businesses across the UK every reporting period.
Published on 15 December 2008
  • Consumers’ expenditure had contracted further, with both retail sales values and consumer services demand falling in recent months.
  • Investment intentions had been cut back sharply, driven by both the weakening outlook for demand and concerns over financing.
  • Many contacts reported a tightening in the cost and availability of working capital relative to the position a few months earlier (see box).
  • Export orders had continued to grow, but at a slower rate than experienced earlier in the year.
  • Manufacturing and business services output was reported to be falling more rapidly than earlier in the year. Construction output was also contracting as substantial falls in private sector building work more than offset demand from public sector projects.
  • Employment intentions had been reduced further across all sectors.
  • Growth in per capita labour costs had slowed as average hours were cut and bonus payments were scaled back. Looking forward, most contacts expected next year’s settlement would be lower than this year’s.
  • Annual input and output price inflation had fallen back sharply as falling foreign currency prices more than offset the impact of sterling’s depreciation for many materials.
  • Retail goods and service price inflation had also fallen amidst reports of increased promotional activity.

PDFAgents' summary of business conditions - December 2008

Other Agents' summary of business conditions

This page was last updated 31 January 2023